My name is Michelle. I’m 30 years old, and I just read the “Twilight” books.
There. I said it. And it still hurts. I didn’t want to read the dang books. All the hype was annoying. It seems like everyone I knew had read the darn things and was in love with them. My MOTHER — the woman who took more than A YEAR to finish reading “Gone With The Wind” — devoured the entire series within a few weeks. My cousin-in-law has been raving about them for more than a year, asking me, begging me, to read them too.
I only have one thing to say: Thank the gods for the Kindle. I don’t feel like such a raging dork for reading them, thanks to my handy electronic book-toter. Also? I didn’t want to have to buy and store those gigantic books on my bookshelf. As for a library — the new Walnut Creek one just opened, I don’t even know where the one in my city is located. And did I mention not wanting to be seen on BART reading the dang things? Don’t ask me why, I usually don’t care about that kind of thing. But there was something about these books that just makes me … uncomfortable.
Anyway. About those books? The situations are entertaining and interesting. But I’m going on record to say that it’s not well-written. I had to go back several times to re-read paragraphs just to figure out what the author was trying to say — or who was supposed to be talking. That was annoying. The editor in me cringed so many times that it was painful. I wanted to bash the author’s head in with the “it/they” error stick by the end of the first book. And there were four of them. It was maddening at times. And I read trashy romance novels for fun — even THOSE had better grammar.
As for how I really feel about the actual characters? I was ROOTING for the people trying to kill Bella. That’s right. Rooting for them. Maybe it’s the first-person viewpoint that bugged me beyond distraction, but that girl … I CAN’T STAND HER. Why? Well, she’s the main character, and she’s just this … well … she’s pathetic. In an age of female empowerment and “girl power” the author has given us a wet noodle of a main character. She’s a martyr: “I’m moving to Washington — which I hate — for my mom’s happiness. And I’m MISERABLE.” Wah-wah-wah. And she has ZERO self-esteem: “Oh, Edward’s so cute, he’s like a GOD, and I’m sooooo unworthy of him.” wah-wah-wah.
And to top it all off — she’s a classic case of the Snow White syndrome: The girl couldn’t save herself from a paper bag. The boy always has to come riding in on his white horse — or silver Volvo — to rescue her. Now I know, she’s dealing with mythical creatures, blah-blah-blah. I get that. But have some freaking backbone. Stand up for yourself. The only time I actually liked her in the entire first book was at the end, when she tried to save her mom. At least she was doing something for herself. On her own. I wanted to slap her during the entire second book. The third wasn’t much better. Fourth book, she was tolerable.
I just couldn’t respect her — so I couldn’t like her either.
I found myself talking to my belly, promising the Peanut that if it is a girl, that I would raise her to have self-esteem. To respect herself. To believe in herself and her own abilities. To try to show her how to be comfortable in her own skin. Because if she ends up like the character in this book, I’ll have failed miserably as a parent. (Of course, I’d do the same things for a boy too, but I was really on a rant for a few days there.)
As for Edward — he’s too perfect. I’m 30 and I’m annoyed with the teenage Bella’s whining, adoration, and shenanigans. He’s supposedly more than 100 years old. And he’s not annoyed in the least. He acts like its endearing. I call bullshit. Major, major bullshit. She’s clingy, needy, cloying, and annoying. Seriously. What is attractive about that? Her entire sense of self-worth centers on him being with her. And that doesn’t get old? Really? Cause I was in one of those relationships — I guess I was the Edward in that one — and it got really old, really fast.
But Edward seems to have no flaws, none of his “family” really do. And that makes them feel fake. (Well, faker, I guess.) Unbelievable. I’m an optimist, but everyone has flaws: I can’t stay on top of housework, my house looks like it imploded, I’m always running behind, and have you seen the size of my ass recently? Seriously. Everyone has flaws. These “good guys” are so good that it makes your teeth hurt. The bad guys are so bad, they’re like cartoon characters who laugh with an evil “mwah-ha-ha!” while they pull on their thin, black mustaches. There’s black and there’s white and no character has any gray in them.
To say the least, I just couldn’t believe any of it. And that’s coming from a person who adored Anne Rice’s vampire chronicles back in the day. The Hubbs asked me why I was reading them when I was so annoyed by them all a few days into the books. Why didn’t I just stop? Because hope springs eternal. I was waiting for it to get better. Counting on it to get better. It kind of did in the last book. Kind of. And I had started already. I was morbidly curious to see how it all played out. Nothing to keep me up at night, but I needed reading material. (Translation: I’m in a rut in the reading department right now.)
So in the end, I plowed through the books — which I pretty much only read on BART — in about 10 days. It was like one of those “youth reader” books.
Was I entertained? Sure, I read the entire series just to see what all the hoopla was about.
Would I watch the movies? Uh … maybe. If someone let me borrow them, but I wouldn’t pay money to see them.
Would I read them again? Not unless I had a really long flight and a headache and wanted something mindless to distract me.
Team Edward or Team Jacob? Don’t make me hit you.